The One with Netscape Navigator, the Year 1994, Jordan Catalano, Douglas Coupland, Milton Berle, Pratfalls, Linguists, and Chandler Bing
MFA Thesis Exhibition, Concordia University, 2013
In the fall of 1994 two cultural entities that changed the way we communicate with one another were introduced into the hearts and homes of the average North American: the hit television program Friends, and the World Wide Web . . .
The One with Netscape Navigator, the Year 1994, Jordan Catalano, Douglas Coupland, Milton Berle, Pratfalls, Linguists, and Chandler Bing uses instances of “un-clarity”, when there is a gap or disconnect in communication as its starting point. In this body of work, I use Friends as a textual database, considering narrative, cultural, linguistic and historical text to celebrate incongruity in popular methods of communication during the mid 90s, when the world—and myself—was in flux, or what I call in-between. The One with. . . looks at how the spaces in between one thing and another can contribute to our understanding of communication.
The One with. . . manifests itself through seven bodies of work that come together to form a larger narrative about communication, and how these moments of incongruity change and become part of our contemporary vernacular. Specifically, The One with. . . looks at the transformation of language through different media—written, spoken, performed, transcribed, mimicked, recorded, documented—and the mishaps and changes that occur during translation.
Using footage, official episode transcripts, the Friends signature font, online fan produced literature, and Friends memorabilia, The One with. . . is a multi-media project with video, live performance and printed matter.
Each piece in this project, including the title The One with Netscape Navigator, the Year 1994, Jordan Catalano, Douglas Coupland, Milton Berle, Pratfalls, Linguists, and Chandler Bing refers to the naming of the episodes of Friends. Every episode—all 236 of them—begins with “The one with/where/in.” Each body of work can be found using the links below or in the menu above.
A special thanks to the following people for their support: Matthew Williamson, Lawrie and Bea Cherniack, Matt Huether, Lynn Hughes, Anna Hawkins, Brendan Flanagan, Collin Johanson, Mark Lowe, Hexagram Concordia, New Adventures in Sound Art, James Whitman and No Kings Press, Jordan Brazo, Khaelin Damm, Zachary Dunn, Kendra Okereke, Tyler Rhinehart, Nihan Tasbasi, Joel Weissman, Casey York
Documentation of exhibition: All documentation by Paul Litherland.